Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Night.

I got through Sunday to get to this point. If I any wiser on account of doing so?

Tony has this terrible habit of standing on the table in front of the flat-screen t.v. and sticking his hands on its' screen. My repeatedly spanking him after he repeatedly does this is not working. He argues back mockingly. He doesn't seem at all phased most of the time. Maybe, I am not hitting him hard enough.

Blogging of Tony, he will be officially 18 months old Monday. Congratulations to Jenny on keeping her sanity. I lost my sanity years ago with no expectation of ever gaining it back. Thankfully, mental numbness instead of insanity is serving as a replacement.

Les Dingle tells me that the Blue Bar will hold a charitable event for children next Saturday night. I suggest you attend. Be sure to bring things kids can use. If you bring enough, you will get free Tiger Beer.

I have been listening to G. Gordon Liddy podcasts this weekend. I read somewhere that Gordon is 79 years old. May he live till he is a hundred. He correctly points out that if you don't want to improve a situation, get the government to try to improve it.


gui-tar-zan said...

Who in their right mind spanks an 18 month old baby?

Bill said...

Speak firmly to Tony instead of spanking, with an angry voice. Not shouting. Just show your displeasure, while taking him down from the table, and seat him back from the TV. It is standing on the table, which is dangerous, that you should stop, not touching the TV. Do it repeatedly until he understands what you want. At age 18 months, he can understand what you say if you accompany it with action that he can understand, like taking him down from the table.

By the way, he is touching on the TV to show you what he is interested in. Respond to that by talking about what it is, and why it is interesting. After a while, he will catch on with what you say a lot quickly.

Andis Kaulins said...

Spanking is sometimes necessary. This movement to ban spanking is just nuts. If people don't realize there are consequences to their actions, they will keep doing bad things.

The ban-spanking movement is part of the general pacifism movement which results in more wars and carnage than we if take the position that war is sometimes necessary. There were peace conferences in the 1930s that were exceedingly self-congratulatory and what was the result? Another bloody war.

Be that as it may, it is better to not use it often.

Betty Marsh said...

Okay, so your child has just earned a spanking. Actually, before I begin, I should discuss "earning" a spanking. In my family, there are certain things that warrant a spanking, and certain things that do not. For children 2-4, spanking should be more prevalent. For these ages, I spank for things such as "saying no" too much (defiance), for disobeying, and for lying. Generally, at this age, anything you don't want your child to get into a habit of doing, nip it in the bud right now. For the next age group, 5-10, I spank for similar things, only I allow slightly more warnings, and at the same time slightly less warnings. For some things, such as talking back, I warn them several times before I act. The same goes for most "behaviors" (things they do impulsively). They need to learn how to control them, and if they are having trouble, that's when a parent needs to step in. This is the stage to teach good manners. For any disobedient "acts" (things they make a choice to do), particularly the ones I have told them is in my set of "rules," they will get a spanking. I actually advise you have a set of rules, and discuss them with your kids. For the next stage, 11-13, I have the same rules as previous, only I give even more leeway on the impulsive behavior. For example, my daughter, right now, is in that stage, and she likes to be sassy sometimes. I understand this is part of her personality development. I tolerate it to some degree, but if she says anything offensive (such as curse words) to me, or if she refuses to control herself, then I think its appropriate to give her a spanking. For ages 13-18, spanking should be rare, if even used at all. Many parents I know start using grounding at this age, and I think that is a good substitute. However, with my kids, I still had that option of spanking. I saved it for certain situations, mainly disobedience. Smaller things that used to earn a spanking now either are treated more leniently, or another punishment is substituted.
So, your child has just earned a spanking. The first step is to let them know. Usually, the conversation will go something like this: "I warned you not to do that. Now you're going to get a spanking." Or, sometimes, "You need a spanking." (expressing the "need" will relay the message that there is a reason for spanking, its not just you acting out of anger). A third statement is "You've earned a spanking." All these statements place the blame on the child, which will teach responsibility. If you say things such as "I'm going to spank you," it relays more of a sense of anger and urgency that should be avoided. Naturally, your child will not be happy about the situation. They most likely will protest the spanking. Simply ignore any protest, but do not start yelling. Stay calm and wait for them to stop complaining. You may want to start walking towards them slowly, and when you get close enough, if they are not willing to go with you, grab their arm gently and walk them to their room. Another tactic to avoid this protest is to take them to their room first. The way to do this is to tell them "Meet me in your room." or "We need to have a talk." Often though, they will ask why, and you will probably eventually tell them they will be receiving a spanking. However you do it, make sure its done calmly, with the child knowing they earned their punishment, and need to receive it. Take them to a private room, either your room or their room and close the door. The things you will tell them and the spanking is a private matter, only between you and them. This will also avoid some embarrassment as they get older. Now, sometimes a quick swat on the bottom with the open hand is necessary, if a young child is getting into a harmful situation. In this case, don't worry about anything except getting them to stop, as their safety is in peril. I'll admit that a few times I have given a single swat to my children for having a bad attitude in a public situation, and acting accordingly (such as talking back, refusing to obey simple commands). I think this should be avoided, but if you are urgent to get control of your defiant child, this may be a quick way. This is not a substitute for discipline, as you may want to punish your child later for misbehaving in public.
This is the preparation stage. Once you have the child in your room with you, its time to repeat again, in more detail, that they earned a spanking. Usually, I sit down on a bed, having the child standing up, facing me. This allows me to look them in the eye, and by sitting down, they know I am preparing to spank them. This stage is important especially for younger children. I begin by telling them exactly what their behavior was, and why it is bad. Then I tell them the consequences. It sounds something like "I warned you not to eat those cookies. They are for desert, after dinner. I told you not to and you did it anyway. You disobeyed me. Because you disobeyed me, I need to give you a spanking." If they did something without your warning, but you've warned them in the past, it might sound like, "You don't treat your brother like that. You hit him and that's not acceptable. You hit him because you were mad, and you should not hit him. If your brother is bothering you, let him know with words, or tell me. Since you did not do that and acted badly, you are going to get a spanking, so next time you'll not do that." Anti-spanking people reading this, at this point, may point out that I'm "hitting" my child for hitting. This is not the case. You are giving them a set punishment, which they earned. You are not doing it to them, they are receiving it, from you. Let them know this. Often times, I will tell my kids "I am giving you a spanking on your bottom to hurt you, it is so that you will learn not to behave that way. It will hurt, but that's because its the consequences of your behavior. You know I love you and am doing this for your own good." Some parents say the "This is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you." This phrase does work very well. I've used it many times. During this phase, the child may already begin crying or may even be defiant. Simply wait until you have their attention. This process may take a while, but its important. It should become a routine to give a discussion before you spank. The important things is to describe their misdeed in detail, so they aren't confused about what they're being punished for, to let them know reasons for why they shouldn't do what they're doing, and letting them know they will be punished so they will learn. I often will quote Bible verses or at least paraphrase Bible verses, relaying the idea that children should obey their parents and a parent's duty is to spank them when they don't.
Now its time for the physical part of the spanking. There are many ways to spank a child, but I have a preferred method which I believe to be the safest and most effective method. This method is known to many as the "over the knee" method. It is basically bending your child over your lap and spanking them on their bottom with your hand. I am right-handed, so the following procedure should be reversed if you are left-handed. First of all, you need to be sitting properly, to keep balance and keep the spanking as comfortable as possible. I advise using either a bed or a chair. I prefer the bed, as I feel it has a sense of comfort connected to it. The goal of a spanking is for the child to learn consequences through pain, but you need to avoid any negative mental stimulation, therefore a spanking should be as calm as possible. If you choose to use a bed, sit on its edge, but not too far. You want to be firmly placed, but you want to extend your lap out as far as possible. Your legs should be apart a certain distance, according to the size of the child. For a small child, your legs should be close together, for a larger child, farther apart. This is different for all children, so you'll need to figure it out, most likely by trial and error. Once you're in position, its time to get your child into position. Begin by bringing them to the right side of you, facing your left side. Their front should be perpendicular to your lap. Next you need to bend your child over your lap. There are a few options for this. The most desirable is to have the child do it themself. However, most children won't be looking forward to the spanking, and may not be cooperative. If this is the case, as it has been many times with my children, calmly grab their right arm with your left arm (it will also work if you grab their left arm with your right arm). By grabbing their opposite arm, it will lock them into position much easier, giving you more force to pull them in. This should be done gently. Pull them in until their legs make contact with your right thigh. Once this happens, keep pulling, guiding them downwards. Momentum will naturally cause them to begin the motion of bending over your lap. Once they initially are bent over, you may want you use your right hand to shift their bottom into place, in case it is not in the proper position (explained later). To do this, grab their body with your left arm and their hips with your right arm and adjust either forward or back.
Overall, you want their pelvis centered over your right thigh, with their bottom forming a round target. You want their legs to sharply decline from the level of their bottom, dangly down the side of your lap or resting on the ground. With their legs out of the way, their bottom is the only target, and is in a prime position for a spanking. Their stomach should be supported by your left thigh, with their body as straight as possible, and their arms dangling straight down. Wrap your left arm around their body, locking it near their right armpit. This will make it difficult for them to block your spanks with their hand, which they may try to do. Overall, they should be in a comfortable position, with their legs and arms dangling down opposite sides of your lap, and their pelvis and stomach resting on each thigh, their bottom sticking up into the air. There are a few reasons for the "over the knee" position. One is for safety. In proper position, their back will be rested and there will be minimal movement during the spanking. The common standing position may be too sporadic, and the child may jerk around too much, causing strain or causing you to miss your target. The other reason is the ritual aspect. If you simply spank your child the moment you feel the need, they may become more on edge as you move in for a simple hug. If you make it clear that you are spanking them by going through the ritual of taking them over your lap, they will know the difference between a spanking and a hug.
Now that they're in position, its time to spank. Usually, I reiterate what I said earlier, a shorter version of "You misbehaved and need a spanking." The important part is the transition phrase letting them know the spanking is imminent. I usually say something like "Ready..." or "Now, this is going to hurt..." or you can say a cliché you use every time, such as the common "This is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you." I usually place my hand on their bottom as I say the transition phrase, to let them know its time. They will most likely start crying or start begging you not to. Ignore anything they say, as they are letting out emotions, which is important. You especially want to hear "I'm sorry!" which signifies that they have apologetic emotions. You need to follow through and hopefully those emotions will remain, and they will learn.
Now, raise your arm into the air, forming a right angle with your hand at level of your head. You don't want to go any higher than this, as it will cause your swing to be uncontrolled, and any lower and the swing will not be forceful enough. Your palm should be open and your wrist should be back slightly. Now, swing your arm towards their bottom, keeping your arm firm by flexing slightly. You want all the power to be focused in your bicep, not your shoulder. As you reach their bottom, convert the force to your wrist, flinging it forward slightly to make contact with their bottom with your open palm. You fingers should be together to generate the desired effect. The contact should be brief and swift, pulling you wrist back quickly as soon as you make contact. The quicker the contact is, the more it will sting. You do not want to give a "bruising" feel by keeping your wrist completely still and using your whole arm to give the force. You can distribute the spanking several ways. I personally tend to spank over the crack of their bottom, to make contact with both bottom cheeks at once. You can also just spank on one bottom cheek, or you can alternate cheeks. If you spank one spot repeatedly, it will produce the most intense pain, and if you distribute the spanks all over, the pain will be larger, but not as intense. I will sometimes use the alternating method for older children, as they will require a greater number of spanks. The number is determined by 1/2 their age, rounding up. A 6 year old gets 3 spanks, a 10 year old gets 5, and a 15 year old gets 8. The speed of the spanking should be about 1 spank per 2 seconds. You want to give time for the stinging feeling to develop, but not enough for it to begin disappearing. You also don't want to get tired and therefore sloppy. If you child begins to squirm during the spanking, you may need to stop and wait for them to stop. I have a rule, which I warn them if they start squirming, and if they don't stop, I start the count over. I've had to do this a few times, but once I've done it, they listen the next time.
Once you finish the spanking, wait a little bit. Your child should be crying. If they aren't, you either didn't spank hard enough, or they are very tough (some children can take pain better, but they still can feel it). You can tell if the spanking is hurting by seeing how they react to each smack. They should cringe a little, adjusting their bottom in reaction. Any vocal noises also signal pain. Listen for fake crying though, as they may try to fool you into spanking softer. You can tell fake crying because it will be more in pitch, more controlled. It may be hard to bear as a parent, but it is necessary if you choose to spank. After the spanking, allow your child to recuperate a little as they remain over your lap. After about 5 seconds or so, they will realize its over. Let them know vocally that it is over like "There... now will you obey me?" or "Okay. That was for disobeying me." or a popular one, "Now will you behave?" I like the last one, because it requires a conscious response. In fact, I advise you say that. If they say "yes," then let them up. If they say "no," (which they probably won't), either spank them again or threaten to spank them again (I would start with just a threat). When you're done, release your left arm, picking them up with their left arm. Have them stand back up. Now is the final talk, where you sum up what just happened. It may sound something like "That's what happens when you don't obey me. If you don't listen to what I tell you, then you will get a spanking, just like that one. Now, are you ready to behave?" Wait until they are in a penitent attitude before leaving them. I usually have them stay in their room, closing the door behind me, for no specific time, until they want to come out. This allows them to deal with their emotions and is better for the rest of the family.
An aspect of spanking I didn't mention is spanking on the bare bottom. I don't think this is completely necessary, but sometimes it is effective. If a child does something "extra" bad, determined by you, of course, you may want to do this. Or, if the child is older, it may be necessary to produce enough pain. If the child is young and you spank them on their bare bottom, at the "positioning" step, as they stand on your right side, turn your body and pull down their pants for them. You can tell them ahead of time or just do it quickly, the latter being more dramatic, therefore probably the least desirable (sometimes though, the first is more dramatic). If they are older, simply tell them the phrase "Pull down you pants" meaning they have to do it themselves. This is more dignifying for older kids, therefore more desirable (as opposed to you forcing their pants down). Again, you can warn them ahead of time that it will be on their bare bottom. For example, "You did something really serious. I warned you not to do that and you did it anyway. You're going to get a spanking on your bare bottom for that." The rest of the spanking goes just the same as normal. You should really focus on quick strikes with the palm, as bare skin stings easier than a clothed bottom. Some parents substitute the bare bottom with just the underwear. This is useful when a child is wearing thick pants. I have done that before, such as when they are wearing snow pants. Spanking on the bare bottom is pretty much the same thing, although may be more awkward for some parents and children. If it is too awkward and embarrassing, you may want to avoid it, replacing it with a larger number of spanks.
You have just disciplined your child. Congratulations, and may you never have to do it again. Discipline is a part of life, a part all children need. Don't feel bad, but be encourage that your child has learned something to aid them in the future. Consistency and love are the key, and with these, spanking can turn into a useful tool.
Tips & Warnings

* BOYS V.S. GIRLS: I have raised both boys and girls. There are some differences in spanking them, although not much. But I'll give some of the differences anyway. As boys get older and hit puberty, their genitals begin to grow and become more sensitive to pressure. If you are spanking a boy after puberty, you may need to widen your legs farther so that their genitals can rest in between, to avoid the severe discomfort boys supposedly feel. For this reason, I'll admit it is easier to spank a girl than a boy. There is also a difference in reaction. I've found that boys try to be tougher as they get older, more than girls. When they are young, boys and girls react to pain very similarly. As they get older, boys try to avoid crying. I know this, and know that a painful spanking may not produce tears with a boy. That is totally fine. If it hurst enough to teach show them consequences, then it is enough. my girls, on the other hand, feel no shame in crying during a spanking. In fact, girls are more prone to "fake cry" than boys, so watch out for that. Also, if your boys are athletic, their bottom may be more muscle, making is harder to spank. If it becomes too hard, you may not be able to spank. Don't try to do anything drastic, as it may get more abusive the farther you go. I've found that teenage girls were easier to spank than teenage boys, from the few spankings that I had to give. You may want to keep that in mind. When they are younger, don't worry about spanking them differently. The common thinking is that girls are more "delicate," but that is not the case. They have bottoms just like boys, so spank away if you need to.
* AGE DIFFERENCE: It is different spanking at different ages. The main differences, summed up are: 3-5 you should give light spankings, listening to their crying, as they don't tend to "fake cry." The smallest spanking will go a long way. Age 6-10, these spankings need to hurt. This is the foundation for their future, and the harder you work at this time, the better off they will be as teenagers. Spank them when they are this age and you may not need to when they are older, at least not as much as you may have needed to if you were lenient at the 6-10 age. From this age group, children should start fearing the spanking, and avoid it, therefore instilling good habits they will keep later in life. 10-13, this age group children will start challenging their parents. I have a daughter at this age currently, and she tries to push my limits. It is important that you show that you are still their mom and they need to respect you. Don't hesitate to spank them if they need it. My daughter has already gotten a number of spankings at this age. It isn't so much making them fear consequences, but making them respect you as a parent. Yes, the spanking should hurt a lot, to be a real consequence, but you need to show that you are still willing to give them the consequences. They need to know that they are still children, not mature adults yet, and if they disobey, they will be bent over your lap and spanked. You may want to start giving more bare bottom spankings at this age. My daughter especially hates those. The final age group, 14-18, spankings should be rare. I save them for direct disobedience. You should start treating them more like adults at this age, but if they act like a child and make poor decisions, they need to be punished like a child. Be hesitant to spank, but don't be afraid to. I have spanked my 2 older boys several times as teenagers, and the same with my 17 year old. In fact, she's not done just yet. If she really needs it, I will still spank. But at her age, I'm very very hesitant to. The most spankings should be at age 14 to 16, not much after that.
* CLOTHING: Clothing can be variants in spanking. The most variant of articles of clothing is the skirt. This is the one time I choose to spank over underwear. I have them bend over my lap, like normal, but once in position, I turn their skirt up, folding it all the way back. I do this because its hard to find the target when they wear a skirt. Once their skirt is out of the way, I can see their bottom, and I simply spank them like normal over their panties. Dresses are more difficult to fold back, but it can be done. Although, often times, dresses are long enough to wear you can pull it hard and have it shape around their bottom. The most ideal clothing to spank in, to me, is cotten shorts, gym shorts, capris... anything that's thin and tight to the body. Jeans are difficult, as it blocks some of the force. You may want to pull them down if you can't make up for the force with harder spanks. I advise spanking on one cheek if they are wearing jeans, as their bottom cheeks will be more tightly fitted to the jeans, therefore they will feel it more. Anything baggy may need to be pulled down (usually older boys wear baggier clothing). Other than that, spank as normal.
* COMPANY: Do you spank when you have people over? The answer is, it depends. I think when they are younger, you should spank them when company is over, to both teach them to behave when company is over, and to make consequences more immediate, important for younger children. Simply excuse yourself, take them to a room, and spank them. Don't be shy to admit that you use spanking. They will respect you if you stay calm and in control, and loving. For older kids, either threaten them ("Do you need a spanking?") and then spank when the company has left, let them know they will be spanked later ("You've earned a spanking. Go to your room. I'll give it to you later on."), or don't mention anything until company has left.
* Don't use anger as a factor. Anger is a negative, and will cancel out your message of love. You can be angry at your child, but before you spank, calm yourself down. That's important.
* Don't overspank but don't underspank. This is both in intensity and quantity. Don't spank too hard, but don't spank too soft. It's safer to spank harder, as they will recover. If you spank too soft, its like nothing happened. Don't give too many "get out of jail free cards." If they need a spanking, spank them. But if they don't need a spanking, definitely don't spank them. Have a set of rules and let them know what warrants a spanking ahead of time (unless its something obvious).
* Spank to correct, not to punish. You are punishing them, but it is to correct their behavior. It is not to make you feel better.